It is the beginning of the year and I am updating my camera settings so that the camera puts the proper copyright date into EXIF data. I’m also making a new copyright brush in Photoshop.
A copyright brush is a tool I use to insert the copyright information (i.e., ©2016 Dan Wiedbrauk) on photos with a single click. I usually do this when I post images on the internet. Yes, I know other photo editors can insert copyright phrases automatically, but they don't give me this level of flexibility and control.
With the copyright brush, I can insert the information anywhere and I can easily modify the color, opacity, and size using the Adobe Photoshop brush tools. I prefer this method because the results are less obtrusive than the automated procedures.
I only make a copyright brush once a year so I always have to look up how to do it. I also forget which font I normally use for the copyright statement so that too becomes an annual rediscovery process. The purpose of this post is to share how (and why) I do these things and to create a ‘how to’ guide for next year.
So here it goes…
Use File>New to create a new image in Photoshop. You want the signature to be large because it will remain sharp when you make it smaller. If you make a small brush, the text gets blocky when you make it bigger. Make sure you use a transparent background!
500 pixels wide
300 pixels high
Use the text tool (on the left toolbar) to create your copyright text. I like to use the Pristina font for this, but you can use any font that makes you happy. With the Pristina font, I make the copyright symbol 36 points and the text 48 points. You’ll have to experiment with font sizes when using other fonts.
On a Windows PC, the code for the copyright symbol is generated by holding down the ALT key and typing 0169. The numerals must be entered using the keypad, not the upper row of the standard keyboard. To make this work on my laptop, I have to activate the keypad built into the keyboard. The blue numbers on the 7-8-9, U-I-O, J-K-L, and M keys act as a keypad when the blue Fn key is held down. This means that I must hold down the Fn + ALT keys while using the blue keypad numbers on the keyboard.
On a Mac, you can create a copyright symbol by simply holding down the Option key and pressing G. That’s it.
The next step is to crop around the text and create the brush. To create the brush:
Edit > Define Brush Preset…
Give the new brush a name (“Copyright 2016” works for me.)
The brush will appear at the bottom of your brush table.
To use the brush, select the copyright brush from the pallete, adjust the color and size and click once. Clicking more times will make the text darker. I generally set the opacity for 30-50% and use the click functions to vary the color intensity for the text. After I merge the layers to generate a JPG image, I make a single pass over the copyright phrase with the sharpening tool to produce a final image.
As you can see in the image below, I can insert the copyright information anywhere on the image and in any orientation. This procedure can be used to place your logo on the image but the logo must be on a transparent background to work well.
Happy New Year!
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